Dozens of Cats Perish in House Fire

FEBRUARY 13, 2006 -- Authorities in Cumberland County say a woman who decided to walk her dogs as bacon was cooking lost 36 cats in a house fire sparked by the unattended stove.

The chief of the Stoney Point Fire Department says Diane Murphy was cooking bacon when she decided to take her dogs out on Sunday. Chief Freddy Johnson, Sr. says by the time she remembered the bacon, the house was in flames.

Neighbors in the area south of Fayetteville tried unsuccessfully to douse the flames using garden hoses. Johnson says firefighters buried the dead cats in the yard of the house, which belonged to Murphy's daughter. At least two cats survived. No people were inside the house.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.